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Using compost inside

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Using compost inside

Post  Glendale-gardener on 2/8/2012, 10:32 am

I was preaching SFG pretty hard on super bowl Sunday to my friend who is starting a garden and a compost bin this year. She had a compost question I didn't know the answer to.

She asked if you have to worry about bugs or anything if you use your own compost inside in your houseplants or indoor herbs and greens. I wasn't sure because I used MM in all my indoor plants but my compost mix was all bagged compost from stores.

Would solarizing it to kill anything in there help? hurt?

Or maybe "drowning" the compost before bringing it in? That's what I do to my houseplants before I bring them back inside after being outdoors all summer- I drop the whole pot in a big bucket of water, and let it sit, then pull it out and let it drain before bringing it in.
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Re: Using compost inside

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/8/2012, 10:39 am

If it is finished instead of raw it will be better than your bagged compost. Personally I like a red wiggler or two in my African Violets. I sprinkle corn meal on the surface to feed them. They keep the soil mix fluffy. In fact, when I put effort into keeping the worms happy instead of the house plant, they worms say thank you by working their magic on my house plants.
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Re: Using compost inside

Post  camprn on 2/8/2012, 12:09 pm

Glendale-gardener wrote:She asked if you have to worry about bugs or anything if you use your own compost inside in your houseplants or indoor herbs and greens. I wasn't sure because I used MM in all my indoor plants but my compost mix was all bagged compost from stores.

The short answer is yes you will most likely bring bacteria, bugs and earthworms into the house when you make up your own potting mix using your homemade compost.

I do not usually worry about it. Generally this does not lead to an infestation of insects. I have more trouble just bringing my plants in the house and having stupid aphids hitch a ride then.

The word and state of 'worry' is totally subjective. I think about it, but I dont worry about it.

Glendale-gardener wrote:Would solarizing it to kill anything in there help? hurt?
Why? I am not sure why one would want to do this.

Glendale-gardener wrote:Or maybe "drowning" the compost before bringing it in? That's what I do to my houseplants before I bring them back inside after being outdoors all summer- I drop the whole pot in a big bucket of water, and let it sit, then pull it out and let it drain before bringing it in.
Again, I don't understand why one would choose to do this. I am not sure there will be a benefit to doing all that work.

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Re: Using compost inside

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/8/2012, 12:24 pm

camprn wrote:
Glendale-gardener wrote:Would solarizing it to kill anything in there help? hurt?
Why? I am not sure why one would want to do this.


Before the days of bagged potting soil, grandma used to bake garden soil to sterilize it for house plants. My guess is that solarizing might do the same thing without stinking up the house. I'm guessing that the bath thing is done after potting up. I think the squiggles would survive. Houseplants usually need a good soaking after a long dry winter, but it does not really cleanse the potting soil (as far as I know..... but my knowledge isn't worth quite $0.02.)
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